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Friday, April 9, 2010

To Live As If School Didn't Exist

My new favorite definition of unschooling comes from the slogan of the 2008 Live & Learn Conference:

Unschoolers Live As If School Didn't Exist.

I  like this definition because it invites us into a new paradigm.  It invites us to live as if.

Entire realities are created by people living as if.

The process of creative visualization depends on living as if.

People love Gandhi's exhortation that we be the change we wish to see in the world. And what does it mean to be the change, if not to live as if, i.e. to live as though the change has already occurred?

It's not wishful thinking to live as if.  Wishful thinking is passive.  Wishful thinking waits for things to change. Living as if doesn't wait for things to change. Living as if is active.  It embodies change.

It creates a new normal.  Not everywhere, but right where we are.

We don't have to change the whole world to change the world, you know.  

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Curious Stuff You Find in Business Books

I'd never read a book by business guru Tom Peters before, but a few days ago a slim one called Talent fell off the library shelf and into my hands, and I brought it home.  I think I was drawn to the graphics.  Lots of black and red and big, bold typeface.  (Hmm.  Where have I see that before?)

Plus it's short, which is a good quality in a business book.  Business theories go out of style so fast, it's nice to finish reading one before its contents expire.  Then again, this book was published in 2005, so it's practically a fossil already.

At any rate, in what is mostly a locker-room pep talk for the Brave New Free Agent World (with lots of exclamation points!) Peters has some good things to say about technology and how it behooves the current generation of business leaders to "grovel before the young" -- a reference to the fluency of those who grew up/are growing up on the native side of the digital divide.  Plus he talked about freaks, and making sure you have them (us?) on board  -- as friends, partners, customers --  when you launch your awesome whatever.

For some reason this reminded me of the "all he wants to do is play video games" lament of parents who worry their video-game-playing children will not be prepared for the world of work -- not realizing that the world of work includes a $20 billion-a-year video game industry that did not exist 20 years ago.  Which in turn made me think of this TED talk.  And this blog post.

Anyway, I'm not launching an awesome whatever at the moment, but what I got out of Peters' book translates well into Unschooling 101, not to mention Life 101: respect the kids, embrace the freaks, and don't be afraid of the new stuff.  Especially the new stuff that's totally old hat to the kids and the freaks.